You may not know that Memphis, Tennessee (which I live on the outskirts of) is on an earthquake fault, which is why this, Quake-prone Istanbul awaits disaster, hit home. Most people around here, and in a line stretching a few hundred miles up to St. Lewis, either never knew or forget that the New Madrid fault runs along the west side of the Mississippi river. It’s name comes from the town of New Madrid, which sank into the river last time we had a big quake. That was also the jolt which formed Reel Foot lake, the only natural lake in Tennessee. Reports from people in the area at the time say that the Mississippi ran backward for three days while the sunken area filled up. The geology here is a worst case scenario for earthquake damage, mostly being several hundred feet of sediment with a high water table. When we get the next big shake, it’ll make Katrina seem like fun times. Oh, and the last big one was in 1811 – 1812, so the next should be any time now, like in 2012?
Details on our impending disaster at: